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Three-week bans for spear tackles

Mon, 05 May 2014 06:59
James-slipper-reds-h_s Brayden-mitchell
Time off for good behaviour
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Reds prop James Slipper and Highlanders hooker Brayden Mitchell were both handed three-week bans for spear tackles at the weekend.

SANZAR judicial officer Adam Casselden accepted a guilty plea from Slipper for contravening Law 10.4 (j): Lifting Tackle - after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Slipper has been suspended from all forms of the game for three weeks, up to and including May 24.

The incident occurred in the 35th minute of the match between the Blues and Reds at Eden Park last Friday (May 2), won 44-14 by the Blues.

In his finding Casselden ruled the following: "After initially reviewing the video footage and citing commissioner's report, I heard submissions from the player's representatives, including his counsel Mark Martin QC and obtained their views of the incident.

"I then proceeded by establishing that the player accepted a breach for the cited offence and then identified the various factors involved in the incident.

"I considered the incident had an entry point in the low end range, which starts at a four week suspension. I then added two weeks as a deterrent to send a message that this type of offending cannot be tolerated in the game due to the risk it poses to players. I also considered the player's upcoming schedule of games as required under the IRB regulations and was satisfied that the player was scheduled to play a club match during the Reds' bye week in Round 15.

"Given the player's excellent disciplinary record, his good character and in recognition of his early plea of guilty I reduced the six week suspension to three weeks. Accordingly, the player is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including Saturday, May 24."

* Casselden also accepted a guilty plea from Brayden Mitchell of the Highlanders for contravening Law 10.4 (j): Lifting Tackle - after he was cited during a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

Mitchell has been suspended from all forms of the game for three weeks up to and including May 24.

The incident occurred in the 66th minute of the match between the Stormers and Highlanders at Newlands in Cape Town last Saturday (May 3).

In his finding, Casselden ruled the following: "After initially reviewing the video footage and citing commissioner's report, I heard submissions from the player's representatives, including his counsel Aaron Lloyd and obtained their views of the incident.

"I then proceeded by establishing that the player accepted a breach for the cited offence and then identified the various factors involved in the incident.

"I considered the incident had an entry point in the low end range which starts at a four week suspension. I then added two weeks as a deterrent to send a message that this type of offending cannot be tolerated in the game due to the risk it poses to players.

"Based on the guilty plea of the player indicating contrition for his action, acceptance of the indicated sanction and the player’s excellent disciplinary record along with testament to his good character, a discount was given to bring the suspension to three weeks.

"The player is suspended up to and including Saturday, May 24."

All SANZAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to a judicial officer hearing to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.

For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the judicial officer.

Nature of Offence: Law 10.4 (j) - Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that player into the ground whilst that player's feet are still off the ground such that the player's head and/or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.

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